Links roundup for 15 February 2012

Here’s a roundup of perspectives on fans stories that might be of interest to fans:

  • The CW has greenlit the pilot for Cult, a story focusing on fans of a cult show committing murders. The story was based on the writer’s experience with Farscape. “”When I first conceived “Cult” it came out of that. I thought, what if the show wasn’t something like “Farscape,” a science fiction show that had a slight amount of edge but was essentially an entertainment? What if it was a show that was darker, had darker elements? What kind of fan base would grow up out of that, especially considering the anonymity of the internet? It would potentially yield a very interesting opportunity for some very strange people to connect with the show. So that’s where it all began.””
  • The newspaper The Guardian recently ran two different negative pieces about genre fiction the first discussing how eReaders both hide and reveal reading tastes and the second bemoaning how mainstreaming sci-fi/fantasy stories has created boring TV and films. Fangirl Unleashed countered the latter and suggested sexism had a hand in these negative views. “In the same way that female-centric films are ghettoised as ‘chick flicks’, ‘syfy’ (as the new label has it) is dismissed as romanticised/infantilised nonsense.” In addition “It doesn’t help that some writers refuse to accept the genre label, because their work is ‘serious’, fostering an insidious Catch 22 – serious work isn’t science fiction, so science fiction can’t be serious. Authors like Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro write about clones and worlds where women are sold as incubators, but it’s an allegory, not science fiction, so that’s alright, they’re still proper writers.”
  • The MarySue recently deconstructed how role-playing games represent women and limit the interactions actual female players can have onscreen. “The Hey Sweetheart Scenario is one that plays out with female protagonists, and it pops up all over the place. It’s usually very subtle, presenting itself as a bit of throw-away dialogue separate from the main plot.” After examining how this occurs and who it might be targeted to, the author suggests that the main culprit is lazy writing. “Raise your hand if you’ve ever played a game/seen a movie/read a book wherein the heroine’s desire to fight stems from her anger towards men, particularly where a male abuser is concerned. It’s a trope as old as the hills, and it drips with lazy, one-dimensional storytelling. A real heroine doesn’t need to be goaded into action by ill-mannered men. Just let her save the day. That’s more than enough evidence that she’s a badass.”

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